Exclusive:Wright Flyer Almost Ready to Soar Over Wright Brothers Park
Montgomery is the birthplace of civil rights and civil war, but it's also the birthplace of civil aviation.
CBS-8 News gets the first inside look at the Wright Flyer replica be constructed for Wright Brothers Park in downtown Montgomery.
Thursday the city broke ground on the new pavilion at Wright Brothers Park, previously Overlook Park on Maxwell Blvd.
The pavilion is one of two key landmarks tying in the Wright Brother's historic connection with Montgomery, the architecture of the represents the right upper wing of the 1903 Wright Flyer. Back in 1910 the Wright Brothers opened up the first U.S. aviation training school at Maxwell Air Force Base.
“As soon as you come across the last bridge towards Montgomery, you'll see it, and it's going to look like it's about to take off across the interstate,” said Chad Emerson, director of city development for Montgomery.
The city hired Burt Steel Inc. to create the life-size replica of the Wright Flyer in October, and the airplane has almost reached completion.
“So not only will it seen be from a mile away, but walking right underneath it, up close and personal,” Production Manager Lee Burt, said.
“We had an artist rendition that we found with exact dimensions,” Burt said. “The plane was made out of wood, and we took that and designed it to make it out of steel.”
“It will be the same length and width, built out of steel instead of wood,” Burt said. The replica measures 40-feet wing to wing.
“It will be quite heavier, I don't know if it will fly, but it should look very good trying to take off the bluff,” he said.
While the Wright Flyer is key to Wright Brothers Park, the city says it's all about appreciating Montgomery's history, and opening up a green space to the community.
Emerson says the Wright Brothers Park will be open June 1st. By then, Maxwell Boulevard will be shortened to two driving lanes, so the public can pull up and park on the inside lanes. As for the flyer, it will be installed and appear to be soaring over city by the end of February.